Tag Archives: chocolate

Flagrants Desirs chocolate

chocolateProving that while all of my desires are, in fact, flagrant, but not all of them are 72% cocoa, I must admit a weakness for the Flagrants Desirs brand of chocolate my local IGA grocery store sells. Available in a variety of flavours, the dark 72% cocoa is my favourite, as I like my chocolate dark, but not too dark. The 72% cocoa is just milky enough to be sweet and creamy, but dark enough to satisfy my craving for that more bitter, earthy taste. There’s an extra-dark 85% cocoa, but I’ve found that anything above 80% is too dark for my tastes. I may be noir at heart, but not that noir.

Also available from this line are chocolates with dark cocoa nibs, as well as the dark orange, dark pear, and dark mint flavours.

Cocoa nibs (image via Gourmet Sleuth)

Cocoa nibs (image via Gourmet Sleuth)

So far I have also enjoyed the dark cocoa nibs variety, which I find tasty but sort of troubling, since the cocoa nibs are pretty small and tend to come off as random grit in the chocolate. I didn’t really expect them to be hard, since I always visualize cocoa as a powder, but the nibs are actually hard specks of cocoa beans (as per the photo at left). The chocolate itself has more of an earthy dirt-like flavour, thanks to the nibs and the cocoa levels, which is interesting, though not quite the flavour profile I prefer.

As a fan of the original Terry’s Chocolate Orange (the one you have to whack on the table to split into individual orange “wedges”), I am very intrigued by the Dark Orange, but have not yet sampled its wares. I think this may be a winning combination, though the lack of whack may prove to be a liability.

The Dark Pear confuses me, since I’m not a big chocolate-with-fruit combo type of gal (and, in fact, tend to find this type of pairing quite abhorrent, barring the inherent deliciousness of the chocolate covered cherry and aforementioned chocolate orange), but in the interests of science, I may have to investigate this option. I just fear that it will go uneaten, as my husband hates the thought of sweet & savoury together, as well as chocolate plus fruit, so anything I don’t like in this department is definitely going to end up in the trash.

After Eight bar (image via Nestlé)

After Eight bar (image via Nestlé)

Dark mint? Obviously delicious. I mean, the York Peppermint Pattie and After Eight mints are proof that chocolate plus mint equals success, and anything darkly chocolatey is clearly a winner in my book.

Overall, I really like this line of chocolates, both for its dark chocolate and willingness to break out of the typically “acceptable” chocolate flavours, and also because it’s hella cheap. The grocery store near me sells these 100 gram bars for only $2.59. Comparably gourmet types of chocolates in this size range often retail for three to five dollars, so this is a rather nice bargain for those with a sweet tooth. I’m also addicted, so I tend to pick one of these suckers up once a week. As far as bad habits go, this one’s pretty cheap, so I’d encourage you to check out the Flagrants Desirs line if you see them at a grocery store near you.

In case you’re having trouble finding the Flagrants Desirs line of chocolates (I’ve noticed they’re not necessarily available at all IGAs), you can currently find them at the IGA at 5144 Bannantyne in Verdun, and you can also order them online for home delivery at the IGA online grocery website.


The world’s greatest $3 chocolate cookbook

Continuing the theme of “OMG!”, I found a great book called The Ultimate Chocolate Book at the Co-op Bookstore yesterday. Written by Robert Lambert, and obviously published in 1988 (as you’ll see from the photos below), this book is straight-up hilarious. I bought it mostly for the introduction, wherein the author states:

Once asked by a wealthy matron client what cooking school I attended, I hastily replied “L’Ecole aux Frappes Dures”, my high school French for an approximation of “The School of Hard Knocks”, to which she responded, “Oh yes, that’s in Montreal, isn’t it?”

LOL! Okay, so maybe it’s mostly funny to me as a Montrealer, but still, the point is that the guy has no formal training, and yet produces beautiful chocolate desserts for rich San Franciscans. How awesome is that?

I also bought the book because of its great 80s photography, featuring items like this Lightning Bolt Dacquoise:

Truly, truly, truly outrageous, no?

Truly, truly, truly outrageous, no? (photo: Patricia Brabant)

The gold, the colours… it’s just so 80s. I mean, I still want to eat it, but my god, people, what were we—collectively—thinking back then? The design world was simply ridiculous. Had we all just discovered Photoshop or what? Anyway, awesome flashback photos aside, I really bought the book because I wanted to learn how to make this Mexican Chocolate Custard Cake:

One word: YUM! (photo: Patricia Brabant)

One word: YUM! (photo: Patricia Brabant)

I mean, really, how could you say no to a plate of that? The recipe itself is a bit weird, calling for tequila, blanched almonds and ground orange peel (among all the usual suspects), but doesn’t look too complicated. You’re meant to serve it with a dollop of whipped cream or crème fraîche and dusted with cinnamon, which I’m thinking of doing for my husband’s birthday next week. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

As a final “OMG!”, I can’t believe there’s a recipe in this book for “Joan Collins’ Broken Heart,” complete with oozing raspberry “blood”!